Arts Advocacy at the Local Level: How Advocacy for Alternative Funding Sources from Municipalities Impacts the Creative Sector


Author/Creator ORCID



Type of Work



MA in Arts Administration

Citation of Original Publication


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This research intended to demonstrate how organizations and their stakeholders can harness advocacy strategies to effect positive change within their local governments’ arts and culture funding systems. Limitations of municipal general funds for art and cultural investment and funding, methods of municipal art and cultural funding sources, and how cities are implementing effective, innovative funding sources were reviewed in this research. The funding systems for nonprofit arts at the local government level in South Art states’ cities with population sizes between 45,000 and 400,000 were the parameters for the research. Both onerous and innovative public funding systems for mid- to small-sized cities and their arts and cultural organizations were explored. General funds systems hindered some development of arts and cultural investment from municipalities, however, funding systems that utilized municipal general funds and alternative funding sources were better suited to harness communities’ assets and were more effective in sustaining arts and cultural resources. Diverse municipal funding sources provided stable levels of funds for the arts and cultural sector. Understanding funding systems at the local level plays a vital role in preparing arts and cultural organizations to advocate for the arts. Effective public advocacy for the arts begins with understanding the external pressures that both negatively and positively impact the cause. The effectiveness of advocacy to local government occurs when the arts and cultural sectors adopt the methods utilized by other sectors.